Microsoft has copied Apple again, releasing the new Zune (= iPod) and Zune Marketplace (= iTunes). In usual Microsoft fashion, they came later and more poorly designed (see zune problems).
Previously, Microsoft could show up late to the party and become the center of attention because they owned the house, or could aquire it with their billions. That’s all changed with the video and music download market. Whereas previously Microsoft could leverage its operating system to gain market share through the power of being the default, media downloads have migrated away from windows.
Whereas the operating system was the old standard for applications, DRM is the new standard of note in the music realm. Apple has been using DRM to shield itself from outside intrusion into its network, and it seems to be working so far. Microsoft has also been moving away from it’s media player, as it starts to test a new flash based beta player on msnbc. I think the winners in this category will follow with who controls or doesn’t control DRM. With this in mind, Yahoo’s little DRM experiment could prove particularly disruptive.